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Archive → February 2nd, 2016

He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness “Dan Proft”

He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness

 

“Illinois Lives Matter”. That is the theme of this year’s Speak Out.

It turns out that is an aspirational statement rather than one that reflects the reality on the ground here.

While the incidence of abortion continues to decline—down another 6% last year and Thank God for that—Illinois still retains its title as the abortion dumping ground of the Midwest.

Chicago has a higher murder per capita rate than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Illinois ranks 47th in the nation in providing services for developmentally disabled persons

The divide is widening between those who believe they are their brother’s keeper and a government that acts only as the keeper of their brother’s money.

Now I am not going to overstate the case as to the State of the State of Illinois because there is no need. The problems we have here exist everywhere because man exists everywhere. There is no utopia on our mortal coil just outside Illinois’ borders.

However, the problems endemic to the human condition are particularly pronounced in Illinois. Someone always serves as the bad example and this is the role Illinois has chosen to play for the United States.

And there is a reason. It is because we have given in to unreason.

As the great Christian apologist (and convert to Catholicism…a little shout out for my faith tradition) G.K. Chesterton observed in a column in the Illustrated London News during the darkness of The Great Depression, “He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness.”

When we get used to injustice—particularly institutionalized injustice—we are ready to usher in unkindness, even barbarism.

Do you remember five years ago when the State of Illinois cancelled its 92-year-long adoption contract with Catholic Charities soon after the passing of civil unions? Robyn Zeigler, a spokesman for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said at the time in explanation of the decision, “Our focus remains on doing what is best for the care and welfare of children in the foster care system in Illinois.”

For 92 years the state said it was renewing the contract because it was in the best interest of children to do so. Then, overnight, Lisa Madigan cancelled the contract because it was doing what was in the best interests of children. The only problem is, Catholic Charities’ policies didn’t change from 24 hours earlier when the state said it was operating in the best interests of children. Likewise, nothing changed about the child’s best interest.

But something changed for the thousands of children in Catholic Charities foster care and the thousands of children Catholic Charities placed in loving adoptive homes. Their interests were sacrificed on the pyre of intolerance masquerading as tolerance.

He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness.

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Speaking of adoption, you may know because you’ve probably seen them on the roads that 29 states have the “Choose Life” license plates.

These are so-called specialty plates where residents pay a premium for their license plate and a portion of the premium is distributed to organizations consistent with the mission of the plate sponsor. With “Choose Life” plates the benefiting organizations are crisis pregnancy centers and other such adoption service providers. Tens of millions of dollars have been raised through the voluntary purchase of these plates to support CPCs and adoption services providers

Illinois has more than 100 specialty license plates. For example, there’s a plate to support youth golf—for the youth that make it to golfing age in Illinois.

There is no “Choose Life” plate but it hasn’t been for lacking of trying dating back to 2003. The effort has been led by pro-life heroes Jim Finnegan, Joe & Carol Walsh, Jill Stanek, Tom Brejcha, Peter Breen and Tom Morrison—long before they were State Reps.—and many others.

But two leaders for the cause deserve special mention in a story not enough people have heard and not enough people remember: they are Rev. Scott & Janet Willis.

After losing 6 children in a horrific car accident involving another driver who had obtained his CDL license by bribing a Sec. of State’s office employee—the most egregious consequence of the George Ryan-era corruption—Scott & Janet Willis appeared at an African-American church on the south side of Chicago (I was there as well) and said this, “Eight and one-half years ago, Janet and I lost six of our children in a terrible van accident. The tragedy, as the people of Illinois now know, was partially due to a licensing system in Illinois that had been abused for political greed and power. The system of licensing is not bad. The abuse of the system is what has been so destructive. We believe that offering this ‘Choose Life’ specialty plate is one way this system can be cleaned up from its corrupt core and be used for good.”

A State Senator running for US Senator named Barack Obama called the “Choose Life” license plates, “contentious.”

Part of that effort early on included a meeting with House Speaker Mike Madigan, he was House Speaker then just as he is now just as he was when Illinois was incorporated in 1818.

Madigan spoke of his support for adoption because, you know, he told Rev. Scott & Janet Willis (I was at that meeting too), I adopted my daughter Lisa. I suggested to Madigan, that this was great news (though I already knew it) and, despite the suggestion he made that he is but one legislator, we all know him to be a very persuasive legislator and if he wants something voted up on the House floor, then that thing will get voted up on the House floor and we’ll go ahead and hold him to that standard of excellence he has set for himself.

That was the first and last time I was included in a face-to-face meeting with Madigan. Madigan bottled up the “Choose Life” plate legislation in committee and 13 years later the effort continues.

(Remind me to tell you the Emil Jones story).

The short of this is Rev. Scott & Janet Willis brought their grace to the General Assembly in support of a positive development from the incalculable tragedy they endured and at the hands of a government they financed no less. Their views were humored but not considered because voluntary support of adoption service providers through a forum the state has made available to speech (state license plate) was too “contentious.”

You know of the good work CPCs do for children and families alike. Think how many more children and families could have been served by those who live their lives for others with the resources this license plate would’ve unleashed.

He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness.

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In 2009, when I was running my ill-fated campaign for governor, I got an email from a friend asking if I had seen an executive order issued by ill-equipped Gov. Pat Quinn, also a Catholic (Chesterton, Pat Quinn…we’ve got a big tent…too big), that would allow the public sector unions to try and organize the state-contracted home health care workers.

I had seen something about it but I took to be another public sector union gambit and, at the time, didn’t fully appreciate the implications.

That changed after I met with a group of parents, including a woman named Pam Harris, who had children with developmental disabilities.

They explained how the state’s home health care worker program worked to me in its actual operation. The state provided a rather modest stipend to the home health care worker for a developmentally disabled child for that child’s care. The home health care worker most often turned out to be one or both of the child’s parents because, of course, who has a bigger stake in the care of a child then his parents.

This was the rare state program that was actually in alignment with the interests of Illinois families specifically and civilization generally.

Well, of course, this could not stand. What Quinn’s executive order would’ve allowed is to close the shop of home health care workers and herd parents into the Service Employees Union because SEIU is always looking for to force more dues-paying members into their ranks.

Think about this for a second, the parent would be (forcibly) represented by a union against their child. I’m sorry, Joey, you don’t get fed right now, I’m on one of my two 15-minute breaks.

The courtesy and customer service of the DMV for the developmentally disabled.

He who has gotten use to unreason is ready for unkindness.

Pam Harris and other parents were having none of it. They were not going to let a SEIU business agent come between them and their children. Pam Harris took her case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States and five years after Quinn’s executive order, Harris was victorious.

I’ve got to give you at least one “and they lived happily ever after” ending.

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Unfortunately, the news is generally not so happy as I mentioned at the outset with Illinois’ ignominious record of serving persons with developmental disabilities.

This week Lutheran Social Services announced they are laying off some 750 employees, nearly 43% of their staff, and shutting down a number of programs in the areas of senior services and addiction services because the state owes them $6 million for services already rendered and LSSI can’t afford to float the state any longer.

Catholic Charities is suggesting similar reductions because the state is in arrears to them for $16 million.

There are cries from social service providers to get a budget done, to raise taxes, to make funding social services a priority.

Let me close by informing the fact-free news reports you have likely seen recently on this matter.

$214 billion in debt. $30 billion in assets. 7:1 debt to total assets ratio.

That’s the State of Illinois.

You don’t rack up $214 billion in debt overnight. In fact, Illinois has not passed a constitutionally balanced budget in 14 years.

Illinois has the 5th highest total tax burden in the country according to the Tax Foundation and the worst credit rating in the country according to everyone.

So think through this with me and go help others to do similarly.

My legislative representatives and yours tell me they’re committed to helping the truly vulnerable, those who need temporary help and those who need long-term assistance and services through no fault of their own.

We have $214 billion in debt.

So after all of the taxing and spending and borrowing and spending, if the truly vulnerable was the priority how is it we’re 47th in providing services to the developmentally disabled and tens of millions in arrears to social services providing operating other laudatory programs?

How do you reconcile the contradiction?

They’re lying. That’s how.

Recalling the “Choose Life” license plate matter for comparison and emphasis: Illinois state government doesn’t spend the money it takes from you as they say the will while preventing you a channel to voluntarily spend your money for the benefit of others.

He who has got used to unreason is ready for unkindness.

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In close, the good news is that the antidote for unreason and unkindness are the reasoned people in this room who with a servant’s heart those within your circles of influence who are similarly disposed.

I’m not the mindless happy talk guy. So I have to tell you what I think is true, that Illinois has in many ways become a barbaric place to live.

But that need not be our destiny.

What you do matters. Your civic engagement. Your charitable work matters. The opinion leadership you provide within your circles of influence matters.

We need people who know better to share their knowledge, collectively demand better and labor for better.

I find myself going back to read passages from Whitaker Chambers’ “Witness” often to remind myself that the point is to put in the fight for what you think is right even if you think you’re going to lose. You never know. You may be wrong about the outcome.

Thank you.

Source: Will County News

The Illinois Opportunity Project (IOP) announced today that it is making a $500,000 donation to the campaign of State Representative Ken Dunkin, a Chicago Democrat

The Illinois Opportunity Project (IOP) announced today that it is making a $500,000 donation to the campaign of State Representative Ken Dunkin, a Chicago Democrat.

IOP promotes public policy solutions rooted in economic liberty and the leaders who advance such solutions. We are policy-focused and thus post-partisan.

As such, IOP decided that a substantial financial commitment is warranted to support State Rep. Ken Dunkin against the onslaught he is facing from House Speaker Mike Madigan and his public sector union allies in the March primary election.

Rep. Dunkin has consistently shown independent thinking and provided support in policy areas of critical importance including: (1) protecting honest, adversarial collective bargaining between the governor and public sector unions representing state employees, and (2) ending the discrimination against children based on their household income and address when it comes to the primary and secondary schools they may attend. Dunkin’s support for certain structural reforms well predate the election of Gov. Bruce Rauner. For example, in 2010, Dunkin voted for the school choice legislation (SB 2494) sponsored by then State Sen. James Meeks.

Bellside 7

We hope Rep. Dunkin’s example of acting in furtherance of his constituents rather than toeing the party line established by Speaker Madigan will be followed by more of his colleagues in the House.

In Liberty,

Matthew Besler
President
Illinois Opportunity Project

Source: Will County News

Opposing opinion on our Government coming for our guns

It’s Official. They are Coming for Our Guns…

(by Michael Connelly, Constitutional Attorney) — It is official. 2015 is the year that progressives will make an all-out push to quash the Second Amendment and disarm the American people. I have been reporting on my blog for the last several years about the ground work that has been laid including the escalating efforts to disarm our veterans, the issuing of illegal Executive Orders by Obama to limit gun rights, the movement to get individual states to pass and enforce unconstitutional limits on gun ownership, and the signing of the UN Small Arms treaty.

Now they are ready to make their move and I predict it will consist of a number of assaults on the American people. In fact, some of them are already in the works:

  1. The DOJ is floating the claim that the UN Small Arms Treaty is now the law of the land despite the fact that it has never been submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification by a two thirds majority as required by the U. S. Constitution. This means that Obama plans to enforce the provisions of the treaty without ratification and despite the fact that in 1957 the Supreme Court ruled that no treaty, even if signed by the President and ratified by the Senate can override the protection of individual rights guaranteed to Americans in the Constitution.
  2. Obama’s enforcement of the UN treaty will include prohibiting the importation of firearms or replacement parts from other countries into the U.S, and providing a list to the UN of all American gun owners, importers, and exporters. In order to legally facilitate this, Congress would have to repeal the ban on funding of a national gun registration. However, I believe Obama plans on doing this by another illegal and unconstitutional Executive Order.
  3.  To continue and escalate the effort to disarm American veterans. The private medical records of veterans are being turned over illegally to the FBI so that they can be put on the NICS list of people who cannot legally purchase firearms because of mental illness. However, mental illness of these veterans is based on minor PTSD, suffering from minor depression, or even letting their spouses pay the family bills. There is no adjudication of mental illness to the point of being a danger to themselves or others as required by law.
  4. Veterans are also being required to tell the VA if they own firearms, how they feel about the federal government and/or the Obama administration and in some cases forced to submit to a strip search to determine if they have any “radical tattoos”. No definition of what constitutes a radical tattoo is provided.
  5. Obama has by an illegal and unconstitutional amendment to the Affordable Care Act overridden the prohibition on doctors to question their patients about gun ownership. Obama has called on pediatricians to question children about whether their parents have a gun in their home. Just recently I have also learned that seniors newly enrolling in Medicare are being required, when they go to a doctor for a routine physical, to take a test to determine if they are showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease. The questions include repeating a sequence of numbers and letters and other memory type questions and then there is the question about whether they own a firearm. Obviously, this information is then sent to the Federal government.
  6. Obama has also issued an Executive order that is being enforced by new HHS regulations that virtually set aside the HIPP law that protects the privacy of medical records. Under these new regulations, if your records contain anything indicating you have ever been depressed, had PTSD or taken certain medications your records will be turned over to the FBI and you will be put on the NICS list. This will apply to everyone, not just veterans.
  7. Obama also has the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms changing the definition of mental illness to provide that anyone can be declared mentally ill to the point of being a danger to themselves or others for any reason without an adjudication of any kind, and therefore can be prohibited from owning firearms. This is already happening in states like New York that have adopted similar laws and regulations. A citizen of New York has been declared mentally ill and had his guns seized because he was seeking treatment for insomnia.
  8. In the meantime, we have a Republican Senator casting the deciding vote to confirm Obama’s appointment of a Surgeon General who believes that gun ownership constitutes a health threat. We have the EPA moving to control the manufacture of ammunition because it claims that the use of lead in ammo produces a threat to the environment.
  9. The Department of Justice will continue its campaign to force banks to deny loans and even bank accounts to firearms dealers and will continue to harass them in other ways to force them out of business.

In other words, multiple resources of the Federal Government and some state governments are going to be used to take our firearms, but we can and must fight back. As the Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (www.usjf.net) I plan on taking the following actions to:

  1. Contact members of the U.S. Senate and urge them to refile the “Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act” that will stop the efforts of the VA to disarm America’s heroes. This law was previously defeated by Democrats in the Senate.
  2. Continue our representation of individual veterans in their fights to reverse declarations that they are incompetent to handle their own financial affairs and cannot own firearms. We have won some recent victories in this effort.
  3. File suits against the VA, FBI, DHS, and DOD to force them to comply with our Freedom of Information Act requests to gain documents about the attacks on veterans by these agencies.
  4.  Continue our involvement in lawsuits against states that are implementing and enforcing unconstitutional gun control laws.
  5. Offer our support to any members of Congress who file suit against Obama to stop his use of illegal Executive Orders to implement gun control and other unconstitutional actions.
  6. Continue to support the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) in their efforts to recruit law enforcement leaders around the country to pledge that they will not allow unconstitutional laws or regulations to be enforced in their jurisdictions.

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UN Gun Ban: 7 Reasons the UN Small Arms Treaty Won’t Take Away Your Guns

By Brooke Edwards Staggs   |   Monday, 09 Feb 2015 08:26 PM

 Newsmax
As the international community for years debated a global treaty to regulate the cross-border arms trade, gun advocates in the United States cried foul over how the U.N. gun ban might impact Second Amendment rights at home.

The furor gained steam in 2013 when the United Nations approved the Arms Trade Treaty and the United States signed on.

Pressure from gun rights activists helped prevent the U.S. from ratifying the treaty. But enough other nations ratified the U.N.’s so-called gun ban that it took effect on Christmas Eve in 2014, triggering a fresh flood of concern that President Barack Obama would try to take away citizens’ guns.

Here are seven reasons why the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) won’t lead to Americans losing their guns.

1. The treaty only regulates international trade.

Per the treaty, its regulations only apply to the “international trade in conventional arms.” That includes the import, export, or transfer of weapons across an international border.

2. The ATT reaffirms national gun rights.

In its preamble, the treaty reaffirms every nation’s “sovereign right” to “regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional system.”

And it states the U.N. won’t intervene “in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State.”

3. The treaty supports legitimate gun trade and ownership.

The ATT reaffirms each nation’s rights to acquire weapons for self-defense and peacekeeping efforts. It also recognizes gun ownership “for recreational, cultural, historical, and sporting activities” as allowed by law.

4. The Obama administration affirmed Second Amendment rights.

During a 2013 treaty signing ceremony, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans, the rights of American citizens, to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our constitution.”

Many regulations included in the ATT are standards the United States already abides by. For example, the U.S. already requires records on imports and exports.

And while the treaty encourages nations to share those records, there’s no requirement to turn them over to the U.N. to make an international gun registry.

6. The ATT hasn’t been ratified.

Though the Obama administration signed the U.N. gun ban in 2013, the United States isn’t bound by the treaty’s regulations unless the legislature ratifies it.

The Republican-controlled Senate hasn’t ratified the treaty — and the numbers indicate it likely won’t in the foreseeable future.

7. Obama can’t use executive action to change the Constitution.

While some opponents have expressed concern about Obama using executive action to ratify the treaty, that power doesn’t extend to altering the Second Amendment.

The right to bear arms could be upended only by a constitutional amendment,  which must be ratified by by three-fourths of the states after being proposed by either a two-thirds majority vote in each house house of Congress or a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures.

Source: Will County News

Sanders Campaign Says It Was Informed By Iowa Dem. Party That Results From 90 Precincts Are Missing

Editors Note: Typical of Chicago democrats to do anything to win. Hillary is from Park Ridge a suburb of Chicago. Chicago voting rule is vote early and often.
Easy Score
Sanders Campaign Says It Was Informed By Iowa Dem. Party That Results From 90 Precincts Are Missing

The Bernie Sanders campaign said early Tuesday morning that it was informed by the Iowa Democratic Party that results from 90 precincts were missing.

CNN reported that the Iowa Democratic Party said it would need to “re-stage” the results of the caucuses in those 90 counties.

https://twitter.com/WPJohnWagner?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

 

The Sanders campaign said the Iowa Democratic Party had asked the campaigns to “help them out.”

With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton only led Sanders by 0.3 points, 49.8 percent to Sanders’ 49.6 percent.

A spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.

Source: Will County News